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During the holidays, it can be tough to monitor the foods and drinks that your youngster consumes. Kids enjoy parties at school, and there tend to be tons of goodies offered at the homes of friends and relatives. Nevertheless, large amounts of foods that are high in sugar are not considered healthy for a growing child's body or his or her teeth.
Sugar is the primary food for many microbes that live in the mouth. Oral bacteria consume the sugars, and as the microbes digest their meals, they release acid. The acid causes tooth decay by dissolving the enamel of the teeth.
Here are a few measures that you can take to help protect your child's teeth from decay during the holiday season.
Keep a Pack of Sugarless Gum Handy
Sugarless gum can easily be kept in a purse or pocket. Even if a toothbrush and dental floss are not available immediately after your child consumes a sugary treat, a stick of gum can be. As your child chews the gum, large amounts of saliva are released.
Saliva helps neutralize bacterial acids and washes the mouth. Plaque and particles of food are rinsed from the teeth by the flow of saliva.
The stickiness of the gum also helps to clean the teeth. The gum sticks to debris and pulls it from the tooth enamel and the soft tissues of the mouth.
Your child should be given a stick of sugarless gum after each meal and snack. Be sure to choose a flavor that your child enjoys, so the little one will view the gum as another treat.
Offer Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Before Parties
Holliday parties often include delicious treats that are high in sugar. Sticky candies, cakes, pies, and other treats can be particularly damaging. Sugary drinks, such as punch and sodas, also tend to be available at parties.
One way to limit a child's consumption of sugary items at a party is to ensure that the child's hunger is satisfied with healthy snacks beforehand. If your child is scheduled to attend an upcoming party, offer tooth-friendly snacks, such as low-sugar fruits and vegetables, prior to the event. The child will have less space in his or her stomach to consume sugary items at the party. Also, encourage the youngster to drink water or sugar-free beverages at the gathering.
For more ways to help your child avoid tooth decay during the holidays, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.